in Company C, Fifty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry. After about two years and three months, he re-enlisted in the same company and regiment. He served during the whole four years, the latter part of which he was under General Sherman. He also participated in the grand review at Washington, following the close of the war. Engagements in which Mr. McManigal took part were: Fort Henry, Shiloh, Gettysburg, Corinth, Holly Springs, Kingston, Resacca, and Dallas. He was wounded eleven times.
After the war. Mr. McManigal returned to Ohio and worked at the Junior Furnace Iron Works until coming to the west in 1873, he came to Washington county, Nebraska, where he bought eighty acres of land. He remained here until 1881, when he came to Wayne county, and bought the farm of four hundred acres, which has been his home since that date. His original purchase has been improved and added to, until now he has one of the finest estates in the county.
In 1865, Mr. McManigal was united in marriage to Miss Jane Belcher, of Ohio. Five children have been born to them: Lucy, wife of S. K. West, who live in Tripp county, South Dakota; Eddie P. on a farm nine miles from Bonesteel, South Dakota; S. F., who died in 1899, leaving a widow and two children who live in Tripp county, South Dakota; Ellis, who died in 1897, leaving a widow and an unborn child, who now live in Cuming county, Nebraska, and M. B., a resident of Happy, Texas.
Mr. McManigal is a republican, casting his first vote for John C. Fremont.
Albert Scudder, deceased, who during his life time made all enviable record as a farmer and stockman, the result of his own toil and economy, was born in Ontario county, New York state, March 31, 1844, and was the only son of James and Betsie (Perkins) Scudder, who were married in Ontario county, New York, about 1820. The father died in 1848. On March 31, 1856, our subject's mother married Melvin J. Keith at the home of her mother in Michigan, and of this union four children were born, three sons and one daughter. Mrs. Keith died at her home in Dover, Bureau county, Illinois, September 27, 1908, being close to eighty-six years of age. Mr. Scudder had gone to Michigan with his mother, and after her marriage to Mr. Keith, went with them to Illinois in 1856.
Mr. Scudder was a farmer boy in his seventeenth year, in 1861, enlisted in Company C, Seventh Illinois Volunteer Cavalry, being Orderly for General John Palmer for three years, serving, in all three years, nine months, and ten days, participating in a number of the principal battles and engagements of the war. He was captured and confined in prisons of Atlanta, Georgia, Charleston, South Carolina, and at Andersonville and was continuously in prison for fourteen months. This so impaired his health that he came out of the war much broken in health, and he suffered the effects of his army prison experience the remainder of his life. He had an honorable war record. It is a matter of history that he was one of a small detachment of men on reconnoitering duty along the Confederate lines at time of the capture of himself and comrades, and our subject was the only one of the seven who emerged from the prison alive. Mr. Scudder received his honorable discharge at the close of war, on May 11, 1865, returning then to Illinois.
On April 1, 1868, Mr. Scudder was united in marriage to Miss Melissa Smith, in Bureau county, Illinois, where they resided until 1872, when they came to Merrick county, Nebraska, locating in Mead Township, where they resided on their farm ranch until moving into Central City in 1897. Mr. Scudder was largely interested in ranching and stock; he was a pioneer settler of Merrick county, passing through the hardships of early days. He was a quiet, forceful man, always giving of his time and energy for the best interests of home, church, educational, and political issues.
After coming to Central City from the ranch, Mr. Scudder became an active business man, engaging in the grocery trade, and continued in same until time of his death, January 7, 1905. He was survived by his wife and five children: Franklin Lee Scudder; Melvin G., Mrs. Ada (Scudder) Wilson; Mrs. Blanche (Scudder) Osborn; and Charles Scudder.
Mrs. Scudder resides in Central City surrounded by her children and grandchildren, also many loving friends. The children were all born in Merrick county except the eldest; and all married except Charles, and all reside in that county.
V. J. PROKOP.
One of the leading old settlers of Knox county, Nebraska, is the gentleman whose name heads this review. His labors in this section have aided materially the development of the region, and his name will occupy a prominent place in history as one of those intimately identified with its growth and progress. He has gained an enviable reputation through his honesty and integrity, and is highly respected and esteemed by all. He resides on section thirty-four, township thirty-one, range seven, where he has a pleasant home.
Mr. Prokop is a native of Bohemia, his birth occurring in 1865, and he is the son of Joseph and Mary (Marcan) Prokop, who were also natives of Bohemia. In 1883 Mr. Prokop, with his parents, came to America, and after reaching the United States, the father took up a homestead claim two miles west of Verdigris, and on this land they built a good frame house; later they also took a tree claim. The family experienced the usual hardships and privations incident to those early times. In 1888, during the memorable blizzard of that year, they lost many cattle in the storm; in 1894
the crops were a total failure, and the family suffered many other drawbacks and discouragements.
Mr. Prokop was united in marriage in 1890 to Miss Elizabeth Kovnovsky, and Mr. and Mrs. Prokop are the parents of four children, whose names are as follows: Joseph, John, Mary, and Helen and they are a fine family who enjoy the esteem of a large circle of friends and acquaintances.
Mr. Prokop now owns five hundred and twenty acres of fine land, ten acres of which are set to trees, and the home farm is known as the Martin Kee homestead.
The gentleman above named is a brother of Niels and Ole Nielsen, whose sketches appears on another page of this volume, and he is equally well known and respected, having spent the past many years as a resident of Howard county. He is proprietor of a well-developed farm in Warsaw precinct and there enjoys a comfortable home and the friendship of all with whom he has had to do.
Martin Nielsen was born in Denmark on September 2, 1855, and made that his home up to his eighteenth year, then started for the new world to join two brothers, Niels and Ole, who had come here several years previously, they locating in Howard county in 1871. Our subject spent a few weeks with them, then settled in Hall county and remained for about one year returning to Howard county in June, 1874, and began farming. After several months he secured employment at Fort Hardstuff in digging the fort wells, at which work he continued up to the first of the following year. In February he went into Cheyenne county to work for the Union Pacific, continuing in their service for over a year, then followed ranching, etc., for a time.
In the summer of 1878 Mr. Nielsen came back to Howard county and settled on land on section twenty-one, township fourteen, range eleven, which he had previously purchased in 1876, and which has remained his home place up to this time. He now owns two hundred and forty acres of choice farming land situated along the Turkey creek, and has put up substantial farm buildings of all kinds, including a fine modern residence and barn, and has one of the best equipped farms in the section. He has passed through all the various phases of Nebraska early settlement, and located here just before the terriffic storm which swept the region in April, 1873, which every old-timer well remembers.
Mr. Nielsen was married on October 18, 1883, to Miss Karen Marie Nielsen, who came into Howard county in 1883. Her father and mother always lived in their native country, but she has four brothers and one sister, who came to the United States from Denmark during the earlier years, and now reside in Howard county, with the exception of the sister who is now deceased. Four children have been born to our subject: Peter, Francis G., William and Froda, all bright and intelligent. young people, the eldest, Peter, now married and farming in Howard county while the others are living with their parents on the home farm.
Mr. Nielsen has been connected with numerous precinct offices ever since locating in the county, and is one of the active and prominent men of affairs in his locality.
Carl Asmus, deceased, was born in Germany, near Berlin, on October 22, 1838. He received his education in his home country, and came to America, in 1868, when he located in the state of Utah for about a year, following the occupation of railroading. In 1869, he came to Nebraska, locating near West Point, where he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land.
On February 2, 1871, Mr. Asmus was married to Miss Louisa Koch who was also born in Germany, and came to America in 1869 with her parents. Shortly afterwards, Mr. Asmus moved to Norfolk, where he lived until the time of his death, which occurred August 1, 1903.
Mr. Asmus was one of Norfolk's pioneer merchants, conducting a store until 1901, when, owing to poor health, he retired from business life. He served as a member of the Norfolk city council for several years.
Mr. and Mrs. Asmus, have had six children four of whom are living, whose names are as follows: Elsie, married to Lewis Koenigstein, who have one child and live in Norfolk; Max, also married, lives in Portland, Oregon; Hugo, married, and living in Kansas City, Missouri; and Fritz, who holds the position of assistant cashier of the Norfolk National Bnak [sic].
Mr. and Mrs. Asmus are among the early pioneers of Nebraska, and are widely and favorably known, Mrs. Asmus lives in Norfolk, where she owns one of the prettiest homes of the city, and enjoys the esteem of a large circle of friends. Her father died in West Point, Nebraska, about 1890, and her mother in March 14, 1907, in Norfolk, at the advanced age of eighty-seven years.
Mrs. Asmus has three brothers in West Point Nebraska, one sister in the state of Texas, and two sisters in Nebraska.
The late Henry Sweeney, of Custer county, improved and developed a fine farm, erected a modern and comfortable residence and set out fine trees on the estate now occupied by his widow, and conducted by two of their sons. He was born in Ireland in 1830. The family moved to England when he was a small boy, and in 1848, when in his
eighteenth year, he came to America and spent several years in the states of New York and New Jersey. His parents followed him to the United States some years after his coming and spent their remaining years in New Jersey. In 1863 he went to Illinois to see a brother who had enlisted in the union army, and remained in that state about seventeen years.
On May 12,1863, Mr. Sweeney was married in Will county, Illinois, to Bridget Harvey, a native of Ireland, born in 1840, who came to the United States in 1857, and joined an older sister in Chicago. None of her immediate family ever came to Nebraska except Mrs. Sweeney, the other members who survive being residents of Chicago. In 1880 Mr. Sweeney brought his wife and their eight children to Butler county where two more children were born to them. Thomas, Katie, Harry, George, Alice, Ambrose, Arthur, and Annie, were born in Illinois, and William and Edward, were born in Butler county. In 1887 they came to Custer county and Mr. Sweeney located on school section sixteen, township eighteen, range twenty-two, where he spent the remainder of his life, bringing it to a high state of productiveness. He died there in 1907, deeply mourned by his many friends and acquaintances. He was well-known as an upright, honest citizen, and had a high standing in the community.
Mrs. Sweeney still lives on the home farm and her two sons, Edward and William, assist her in its management. They are young men of energy and ability and substantial citizens. Eight children now survive, all of them living in Nebraska, except Harry. They are: Katie, wife of Owen Gray, of Butler county, has three children; George, of Custer county, has five children; Ambrose is married and lives in Custer county; Arthur is married and lives in the county; Annie, wife of James McCarty, of Custer county, has four children; Harry, of Wyoming, has one child; William and Edward on the home farm.
AMONG THE EARLY SETTLERS OF CUSTER
COUNTY, NEBRASKA, WERE
The Amsberrys of Custer county are the descendants of William A. Amsberry and Polly Everett, who entered into marriage relations in the state of New York, in 1821. William A. Amsberry's parents were of English descent, having emigrated to the United States in the early settlement of New England. William A. was a soldier in the war with Mexico, for which service he received his pay in government land warrants, which he subsequently laid on land in the state of Iowa, where he made his home in his old age. Soon after their marriage they left the stone and wood topped hills of New York and located in Mason county, Virginia, between two hills on a branch of the Little Sixteen, which meant a little stream of water coursing its way down the valley, over the pebbles and rocks, sixteen miles from the mouth of the Kanawah river.
Polly Everett Amsberry was the daughter of Francis and Sally Franklin Everett, the latter a cousin of Benjamin Franklin, the noted statesman and philosopher.
It was here in this humble home on the Little Sixteen that these people gave to the world William Franklin, Francis Everett, Lewis Norton, Almira, Horace Allen, and Matthew James Amsberry.
William A. Amsberry was a tanner and shoemaker by trade. He prepared his own tan-bark and tanned the raw material from which he manufactured the boots, shoes and leggins for the rugged woodmen, their wives and children of that day. Here he built a home and cleared out a small farm, on which employment for the children was furnished as they grow up. He was a musician and composer and gained wide popularity, as well as notoriety by his clever compositions of music, which he sang and played on the violin.
William F. Amsberry, the oldest of the children was the first to drift from the old plantation of the Virginia home. He with his young bride, Harriett A. Brown, moved to Marion county, Iowa, and located near the Des Moines river, near Knoxville, on government land for which they paid $1.25 per acre. They gave to the world Mary Jane Beatrice, Darius Mathew, Medora H., Boyd F., Marsena L., Kittie B., and twin boys who died in infancy.
Lewis Norton and his bride, Jane Coffman, in a few months followed and located on land adjoining his brother William F. They gave to the world Florentine, Lewis Allen, Mary, William Zachariah, James Green, Nola, Norton, Charley, Adaline and Lyman B.
Almira Amsberry, with her husband, William Beard, came soon after and located six miles down the river from her brothers, William and Norton. Their children were Albert, David D., Mary E., Ellen J., and Jabus Everett. William Beard, the husband and father, lost his life as a soldier in the Civil war. Some years after, the wife and mother married Pearly Troby. The second family of children were Ruth, Sophie, Allen and Pass. These children are married and have families. Ruth married James Runyan, Jr.; Ellen married Perry Dady; Sophie married Leonard Dady; Pass married Will Sharper.
Francis Everett Amsberry and his wife, Lucy Beard, remained on the old Virginia plantation until after the Amsberry settlement was made in Custer county, Nebraska. Their children are Margaret, Sally, John A., Martha, James M., Laura, Frank E., Myra, William, Ella and Floyd. All are married but Martha, and have families, and all live in Custer county except Floyd and family.
The two older children of William and Harriet Amsberry, Beatrice, now Mrs. H. T. Coffman, and Darius M. Amsberry, were the first to move to Nebraska to seek homes on the wild domain.
Darius and H. T. Coffman went to Nebraska in the fall of 1873 and located near Grand Island, in Hall county. Both Beatrice and Darius, before emigrating to the west spent a series of terms in Central University, a Baptist school at Pella, Iowa.
In the spring of 1874, John A. Amsberry came to the state and first located in Valley county, near Ord. Beatrice Amsberry, with her husband located on a homestead near Grand Island. Darius resumed his occupation as teacher in district number one, in Grand Island, where he taught five years in succession.
On learning of the organization of the new county of Custer, John and Darius located homesteads in sections thirty and thirty-one, township fifteen, range seventeen, near where Mason City now stands. This was the nucleus of the Amsberry settlement in Custer county. Prior to this settlement Darius M. had gone back to Iowa, in the spring of 1875, where he married Miss Evaline Greenlee, of Corydon, Iowa, on April eighth, the daughter of Sylvester and Esther Barnett Greenlee, pioneers of Wayne county, who had emigrated from Mason county, West Virginia. The children of this family are Minnie May, William S., Ama R., Lorin W., Jessie, who died in infancy; Lillie H. Minnie May married W. J. Clay, and they are living on a farm of their own near Broken Bow; William S. is married, and is express agent at Deadwood, South Dakota; Ama R. married Carl Foote, and is living on a, ranch of their own of several hundred acres, near Dunning, in Blaine county; Lorin W. is married living in Broken Bow and is a printer by trade; Lillie H. is living with her parents in Broken Bow.
After a year or more John A. Amsberry, growing tired of a bachelor life, returned to Iowa and married Miss Mary Buckley, daughter of Frank and Martha Buckley, who were former residents of West Virginia. Their children are Zadee, Frank, and Nellie. Zadee married Ray Duke, a druggist in Mason City, Nebraska. Frank is engaged with his father on the original homestead, with several hundred acres added, in farming and raising thoroughbred Poll Angus cattle, both farming and cattle raising are carried on extensively. Nellie is living with her parents.
When John and Darius located in Custer County there was but one neighbor in five miles, and not more than a half dozen settlers within a radius of fifteen miles, and less than two hundred in the county, which embraced a territory of forty-eight by fifty-four miles. Their buildings were constructed of sod, but little lumber being used, as their nearest railroad point where lumber could he bought was at Kearney or Grand Island, sixty miles distant. On account of the great distance from a railroad, groceries ceased to be a necessity in large assortment and quantity, but they were not without provisions as the canyons abounded in wild plums, grapes, currants and gooseberries in their season this wild fruit was gathered in large quantities in the fall, which provided sauce the year round. This with the sorghum made from home grown cane met all the needs in the line of food. Elk, deer, antelope, prairie chickens and jack-rabbits were plenty at first and from this source a supply of fresh meat could be obtained without much loss of time as they were at hand and were not very wild. The only time the colony was hard pressed for provisions was the winter of 1880 and 1881, when the snow was so deep from November, 1880, to April, 1881, that it was impossible to go to market or the grist mill, thirty miles distant, to secure bread stuff. Those who had not laid in a large supply of flour in the fall for weeks had to parch corn and grind it on their coffee mills for all the bread they ate.
After Darius M. Amsberry had proved up on his homestead, in 1884, he moved to Broken Bow, having been elected county superintendent of schools in the fall of 1882. He was elected for three consecutive terms, from 1882 to 1888. During this period the country had its greatest growth in population, and he organized in that time one hundred sixty-five school districts. In 1887 he purchased the Custer County Republican, the pioneer paper of the town of Broken Bow. The Republican was started with the platting of the town, June, 1882, by R.. H. Miller. At the close of his third term as county superintendent, January, 1888, he assumed personal busness [sic] and editorial management of the paper and continued active in it its management until August, 1906, when, having been appointed Receiver of the United States land office at Broken Bow, by President Theodore Roosevelt, in July of that year for a term of four years. He turned the active management of the paper over to his foreman, Charles K. Bassett, as practically all of his time was required in the government office, in disposing of the government land in his district under the Kinkaid law of six hundred and forty acre homesteads. At the expiration of this term he was re-appointed to the same office by President William Howard Taft. He continued the supervision of the publication of the Republican, however, until July 1, 1911, when he sold the plant to Norman Parks. He still resides in Broken Bow, where he has one of the best homes of the city, besides business; property, as well as valuable property joining the city.
Soon after finding valuable government land in Custer county these two pioneers, John and Darius Amsberry proceeded to notify their relations and friends of the splendid opening for free homes. It was not long until the valleys and hills around about were settled with Amsberrys and relatives. Among the first were Darius' father, mother and family; Zach Ambserry [sic] and bride. His mother, "Aunt Jane," widow of Norton Amsberry, and her family, Almira Amsberry, Trolly and her family, Francis E. Amsberry and family, Beatrice Amsberry Coffman, husband and family, Florintine Amsberry Mossman, husband and family, Rose Amsberry Greenlee, husband and family, Laura Ambserry [sic] Fisher, husband and family.
Medora H. Amsberry, who filed on a homestead where Mason City now stands, married George W. Runyan and they are now residing in Mason City, having retired from their valuable farm near town. They gave to the world, Ira, Ada, Blanch, Merle, William and Willis, twins, and Glenn. Ira married Fraces Rumery who following the example of their ancestors have filed on government land, under the Kinkaid act, on which they are residing. Ada married Buff Watson and is living on her father's farm near Alason. Blanch married Henry Rumery, who has taken a section of government land. Merle, who for several years has been a student in Grand Island Baptist College, as well as William, Willis and Glenn are still single, and all but Glenn have homesteads.
The children of Beatrice Amsberry Coffman are Mary, Harry, Hariet, Paul and Kittie. Harriet, Kittie and their father are dead and Paul is living on the home place near Mason with his mother, who after the death of her husband, moved from her city home back to the farm. Mary married James Kelley and they, with Harry are living on homesteads in Box Butte county. Harry married Rosa Runyan, daughter of Dug and Mary Jane Runyan.
Boyd F. Amsberry married Mollie Coffman. They gave to the world Elmer, Mary, Augustus. Hiram and Harry. Mary married Pratt Bliss. They are living in Seattle, Washington. Elmer and family and Augustus are living in Vancouver. British Columbia. Hiram and wife live in Anacortes, Washington, from which place he operates is postal mail clerk. Harry is still in school and at home with his parents.
Marsena L. Amsberry is married and has a valuable farm near Ansley on which he resides. His children living are Maple, Holly, Ora, Lavern, Violet and Ethel. Maple married John Mitchie and they live on their own farm adjoining her father. The other children are all at home with their parents.
Kittie Amsberry maried [sic] M. L. Whitaker, who is in the mercantile business at Canton, Nebraska, and have a section of land near, which the children work. They gave to the world Ray, Howard, Clifford, Mamie, Edith, Helen and Herbert, all of whom are at home.
Zach Amsberry still owns his homestead, which with time has become valuable, from which he and wife enjoies the fruits thereof in extensive travel for health and recreation. Their children are Alma and Fannie, and are both married.
Nola Amsberry married Henry Zimmerman and now reside in Ansley, near where they have a valuable farm. They gave to the world, Ray, Adaline, Thomas, Lottie, Fronia and Flora, all of whom are married, but Flora.
Norton, Charley and Lyman are married and live in the vicinity.
Aunt Jane is still living and makes her home with her youngest son Lyman on the farm.
The Amsberrys of Custer are generally prominent members of the Baptist church and active in all lines of Christian work, as well as all matters of public interest.
A portrait of D. M. Amsberry is presented on another page of this volume.
Hon. D. M. Amsberry.
One of the many sons of Old England, who have found a home in the vicinity of Plainview and added to the material wealth and social stability of the community, was the venerable Jacob Julyan, who, at the time of his death in 1910, was one of the oldest men in his county.
Mr. Julyan was born in the village of Thurngay, Cornwall, in 1830, and was a son of John and Elizabeth Julyan, who were natives of the same shire and passed their entire lives in their native land.
Jacob learned the blacksmith's trade at his father's forge and followed the work during his younger years. He was married at an early age to Elizabeth Allen, and three children were born to them, all settled in the west here. Mrs. Julyan died in England, and our subject was married to Jane Cock, a native of Cornwall also, and of this marriage five children were born, three now living, namely: Jessie, who is the wife of Frank Peed, of Knox county; Eva, wife of George Roan, a ranchman of Cherry county; and Charles who lived with his parents at the time of their death. Mrs. Julyan also died in 1910.
In 1876, Mr. Julyan was influenced by the letters from a friend who had come to America and settled in Nebraska, to leave the old country, so he sailed in June of that year, accompanied by his two eldest sons, taking passage on the "'Baltic," from Liverpool. They arrived at Belleview, Sarpy county, Nebraska, early in July, and the father immediately obtained work at his trade, also tried farming, but owing to the hard times brought on by the grasshopper raids in that country, was obliged to give up blacksmithing altogether. He was joined by his wife and the rest of his children in June 1877, and as conditions in Sarpy county became worse, Mr. Julyan left his family there and sought work in other fields, finally obtaining employment at Ward, a mining camp in Nevada, where he remained for four years, his family remaining at Belleview all of this time.
In 1884 Mr. Julyan came to Pierce county purchasing a farm six miles northeast of Plainview. Here he experienced every form of pioneer life. At the time of the blizzard which struck their locality in 1888, two of the younger children were at school and unable to reach home. As soon as the storm abated sufficiently to permit travel, which was toward morning of the following day, Mr. Julyan and a hired man took a well-filled bucket of lunch, and by keeping close to a wire fence as a guide, made their way to the schoolhouse. Before reaching there, however, he stopped at a neighbor's home. where he found his children safe and sound, so con-
tinued on his way, and at the schoolhouse found the teacher and a number of the pupils huddled together to keep warm and in a state bordering on starvation from their long fast and worn with the anxiety occasioned by the terrific storm. These and many others were the hardships that confronted them during those years. For several years they were obliged to use hay and corn for fuel when they were unable to get any other commodity as coal was very high and scarce. Their only Indian scare was the memorable false alarm, when a crowd of young men returning from a charivari shot off their guns and raced through the town making everybody think that a band of the redskins were on the warpath.
In 1902, Mr. Julyan left the farm and purchased a comfortable home in Plainview where he spent the remaining years of his life in peace and plenty, surrounded by the comforts of life.
In politics Mr. Julyan is an independent, always supporting the best man on the ticket, regardless of party. Both our subject and his wife were reared in the Episcopal church, but since settling the west they attended other houses of worship, more frequently the Methodist church and the Friends' services.
TELMAN N. BENNETT.
Telman N. Bennett, probably as well known as any citizen of Howard county, for his extensive business interests in the past, also his thorough appreciation of the needs of his community and his conscientious labors to meet them, is a resident of the city of St. Paul. At the present time Mr. Bennett is acting in the capacity of eastern representative of a prominent business house in the west, and is successfully covering a large territory, known among the commercial travelers far and near as one of the brightest and most successful men in his line of work.
Mr. Bennett was born in Steuben county, New York state, on November 18, 1847, and was the third in a family of four children. When he was four years of age his parents removed to Potter county, Pennsylvania, his brother George still living there, although both parents, one sister and a brother are deceased. Pelman received his education in the public schools, later took a course at the Ulysses Academy, in that county, and at the age of sixteen years, begun teaching school during the summer months, attending college through the winter season. He continued his labors at a teacher for some six or seven terms, also at various times followed farming in his home vicinity.
In 1868 Mr. Bennett was married here to Sarah Freeman, daughter of Jerry Freeman, a well known resident of Potter county, Pennsylvania. To them were born one daughter and a son, and Mrs. Bennett died in St. Paul, in January, 1880, the daughter also being deceased, while Atlas J. Bennett, the son, is married and now makes his home in Amarillo, Texas.
Our subject came into Howard county in 1872, and located a pre-emption and homestead in the northwestern part of the county, situated on the Loup River bottom, making that his home up to 1879, when he came to St. Paul and took up his permanent residence. Here he went into the general merchandise business and continued in the trade for a number of years, being numbered among the pioneer merchants of the place. He has been interested in various enterprises, at one time hauling lumber from Central City for about the first residence built in St. Paul. In 1891 he begun his career as a traveling salesman for a wholesale grocery house and has followed this ever since, being connected with different firms in this time, and at present acting as eastern representative of the Thomas Devlin Tannery Company, of Arcata, California.
In October, 1882, Mr. Bennett married Miss Ida Kenney, daughter of Samuel Kenney, a leading pioneer of Howard county, the event taking place at the home of the bride's parents. After three short years of happy married life Mrs. Bennett departed this life, deeply mounted by all, as she was a lady of charming personality, and greatly admired by those who knew her. Mr. Bennett married again, in 1887, taking as wife Miss Frances Tripp and they are the parents of two children. Fred and Lois, both now living at home. The faimily are among the leading members of the social life of their city, taking an active interest in educational and church affairs in St. Paul.
The late George Strathdee was one of the early settlers of Valley county, where he was a successful farmer and stock raiser. He spent the last years of his life at Arcadia. He was honored as a veteran of the civil war, and was highly esteemed for his many good qualities. Mr. Strathdee was born in Glasgow, Scotland, December 12, 1835, reached maturity in his native country, and there enjoyed excellent educational advantages. As a young man he came to America and located at Wilmington, Illinois, where he secured a position as bookkeeper and later served as constable and sheriff of Will county. On February 7, 1867, he was married, at Wilmington, to Mrs. Mary (Hurley) Forbes, a native of County Limerick, Ireland, who came to America with her parents when about fifteen years of age.
In the fall of 1885 Mr. Strathdee brought his wife and five children to Valley county and there homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres af [sic] land at Lee Park, later purchasing eighty acres of land. He lived there until 1906, when he sold the farm and retired from hard work, purchasing a comfortable home at Arcadia where his death occurred May 2, 1910. He was survived by his widow and four children: George, married and living in Arcadia, has two children; Fred, of Arcadia, whose
wife died in September 1908; Mary, wife of Robert F. Rowe, of Arcadia, a sketch of whom appears in this work, has two children; and Albert, married and living in Arcadia. Another son, Alfred, twin brother of Albert, died in September, 1902. Mrs. Strathdee has two sons by a former marriage, Charles and William Forbes, both living in Nebraska. She still resides in the home in Arcadia, surrounded by a large circle of friends.
Mr. Strathdee enlisted in Company I, One Hundredth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, served throughout the war, and lost his left arm in the battle of Mission Ridge. He received his honorable discharge at the close of the war having a record of which his family are proud. All who knew him deplored his decease and he is missed in many circles. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Follows and the Grand Army of the Republic
August Jacobson was well and favorably known in the city of Newman Grove, and indeed, throughout Boone county, Nebraska; he was born in Sweden, and comes of a very old and respected family of that country.
Mr. Jacobson was a son of Jacob and Margaret Neilson, and was born on May 1, 1846. He was the fifth in a family of six children, all of whom are deceased with the exception of one brother still in Sweden and another Charles Jacobson, who lives in Platte county, Nebraska. Also, both father and mother died in Sweden several years ago. August was married in 1872, to Caroline Anderson, who was born and raised near his home place, and together they came to the United States in the spring of 1873, their first location being in Illinois. There Mr. Jacobson worked at railroading for four years, during which time with care and the strictest economy, he managed to save up fifteen hundred dollars and then brought his family to Boone county Nebraska. He filed on a homestead on section twenty-three, township twenty range five and this was their home place up to 1905, when Mr. Jacobson retired from the farm and moved to Newman Grove taking up his residence in a fine dwelling which he had erected there. He stilled owned and superintended the work on the farm up to the time of his death and owned considerable land adjoining his original homestead, part of which he took in the early years as a timber claim, and was classed among the wealthy self-made men of that region. Himself and wife were among the early pioneers of Nebraska becoming prosperous and successful by dint of faithful attention to duty, and good management. Mr. Jacobson served as assessor of Boone county for three years, from 1894 to 1896 inclusive, and was also director of school district number thirty-seven, for twelve years.
Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Jacobson, all living, named as follows: Charles A., Emily M., H. G., Segard A., J. Martin, Alice A., Walter A., Theodore A., all are married except the two last mentioned. Mrs. Jacobson has four sisters and two brothers, three of whom are still living in Sweden.
ROBERT J. MILLS.
Robert J. Mills is one of the old settlers of Custer county, Nebraska, and has been instrumental in furthering the welfare and development of his county and state since locating there in the fall of 1885, a period of more than a quarter of a century. He is a native of Steubenville, Ohio, born May 10, 1853, son of John and Sarah (Wolfenden) Mills, natives of England. The father came to America in 1848 and located first at Sharon, Pennsylvania. He died in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, in 1882, and his widow in 1884. Robert J. Mills was next to the oldest of their eight children, the others being: one son in Illinois, three sons in Pennsylvania; two daughters in Pennsylvania, and one daughter deceased in early childhood Mr. Mills accompanied his parents to Beaver county, Pennsylvania and there he grew to maturity, receiving his education in the local schools. He later worked in the mines in that state and his marriage occurred in Beaver county July 11, 1878, when he was united with Miss Catherine Baker, a native of Pennsylvania and daughter of Richard and Catherine (Thomas) Baker, both natives of western Pennsylvania.
In the fall of 1885 Mr. Mills brought his wife and three children to Custer county and secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of land near Westerville, the home of the family until 1900, when he sold out and purchased two hundred and eighty acres of land on section twenty-nine, township seventeen, range eighteen, where he has a well improved and fully equipped stock and grain farm. In 1908 he erected a modern farm residence and he has also provided other substantial and suitable buildings. He has served as director of the school board in district number four for some time and was also supervisor of the county for a period of four years.
Eight children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Mills, namely: Thompson B., of Custer county, has two children; Lina, wife of J. P. Runer of Anselmo, Nebraska, has four children; Carrie, a teacher in Custer county; Edward W. at home; Harry R., also at home; Bertha, a student at Broken Bow; Emma J. at home, and a daughter who died in infancy. Mr. Mills is an enterprising and progressive farmer and is recognized as a public-spirited and desirable citizen. He is one of the best known men in his part of the county and has a wide circle of friends.
The Mills lived some nine years in sod houses before building his present pretentious country home. The "soddie" on their first farm was in strong contrast with the substantial homes
© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 for NEGenWeb Project by T&C Miller, P Ebel, P Shipley, L Cook